Daisy’s Doin’s, Day 57

Well, this should be the last blog regarding Daisy’s first litter.  All but one of the puppies are adjusting to their new homes, receiving MUCH more individual attention than our family could give them.  The remaining pup is Belle, and her Texas family has asked us to keep her until they can get up here for her in mid-March.  Belle plays hard and sleeps hard.  As a matter of fact, she was ready for bed early in the first half of last night’s Super Bowl.

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Belle all zonked out.

As promised, Daisy Mae got her spa day today.  We shaved off her matts, trimmed her face, clipped her nails and gave her a warm bath.  She looks pretty naked, but she seems to be enjoying the freedom of her new do.  She’s been running around like a nutjob, which landed both her and Liberty (aka Libby), our 7-month-old standard goldendoodle, in a time-out.

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Miss Daisy, fresh from the tub and posing for a picture.

Libby is growing at a fairly rapid rate right now, and she has a tough time keeping tabs on all of her body parts at once.  When she plays rough, furniture and lamps can get a bit knocked about.  Daisy can now duck under Libby, which leaves Liberty confused and keeps all of us entertained.  At one point during the big game last night, Belle was playing under Daisy, and Daisy was playing under Libby–while Libby was trying to watch them both.  Craziness.

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Even Liberty got an all-over comb and a face trim this morning.

Although Gracie is shouldering the biggest part of the potty-training load with Miss Belle, it definitely takes a village.  Belle’s doing pretty well, but she has to be watched every single minute.  And, she’s currently not too crazy about time alone.  Littermate withdrawal is a terrible thing for a puppy.

All in all, Daisy’s first litter was a success.  Daisy proved to be a great momma and maintained her health throughout.  The pups enjoyed good health and are now welcome additions in some fantastic families.  The kids made back their investment with money in the bank, and they learned a lot about responsibility, teamwork and business in general.  And, our family made some new friends along the way–folks we may have never met if it weren’t for these furry babies.  We are truly blessed.

 

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Daisy’s Doin’s, Day 50

Good news from the vet today:  Daisy’s puppies are perfect!  (Well, duh!)  Their sweet faces captured the hearts of everyone there, and the doctor was pleased with their good health.  Five of the six took their shots without a complaint.  Macy, however, gave the fiercest growl she could muster, which only resulted in chuckles from her assailants.  From then on, Macy was referred to as “that sassy girl”.  Ha!!

Even better news for our family is that Miss Daisy Mae is in excellent health.  The vet and two techs were oohing and ahhing over how sweet and gentle and pretty she is.  Daisy promptly rolled over on her back and let them rub her belly as they sang her praises.  The vet and I agreed that, after the pups go home this weekend, Daisy gets a spa day.  Were going to give her a new “do” (to get rid of the matts in her fur), a soak in the tub and a pedicure.

As I type this, all 6 fur balls are running, romping and racing around our kitchen and dining room, sounding remarkably similar to a herd of rhinoceros.  These little ones are almost impossible to wear out; their energy seems to increase by the hour.  The good news is that they pile up and sleep hard at night.  A tired puppy is a well-behaved puppy.  🙂

Daisy’s Doin’s, Day 46

Today’s warmer temperatures and magical (yes, magical) sunshine made for a perfect opportunity to get the puppies out and about for exercise and potty-training.  The little ones enjoyed running around outdoors, playing follow the leader and King of the Mountain.  (Isaac was more than happy to be the mountain.)

Have you ever picked out the perfect gift for someone’s birthday?  Maybe you found the gift early and could hardly wait until it was time to see them open it.  That’s kind of how I’m feeling about these puppies.  I can hardly wait to present them to their new families!  They are so sweet and so much fun and just soooo…perfect!  We know they will bring many smiles and lots of joy to their new homes (along with some sleepless nights, puppy bites and possibly even a few wet socks).

Daisy has enjoyed the sunshine today.  She and I both took a nap this afternoon after a long inside romp with the pups.  I then took Papa Butch on a very long walk around our 20 acres and through the woods.  I enjoyed the exercise, and he enjoyed the freedom to stop and smell every weed and stick that drew his attention.

I just peeked in on the pups, and they are all piled up together in their cage, drunk with exercise and sunshine.  A tired puppy is a well-behaved puppy.

 

Homeschool Headlines

As a homeschool mom, I am deeply disturbed by any news of abuse within the homeschool community.  Fortunately, over the course of the 13 years our family has opted to home educate, incidents of proven abuse have been exceedingly rare.  Of course, that does not discount the terrible experiences of those children who have endured horrible neglect and misuse under the banner of home education.  They have suffered at the hands of those who have been ordained to be their greatest advocates.

I am fairly well-immersed in the homeschool community, and, to a person, the parents I know who have opted to home educate have made that decision out of love for their children.  They sacrifice financially, invest wholeheartedly and live resourcefully to see their kids thrive.  Just like all loving parents, regardless of education-based decisions, they do what they truly believe is best.  Unfortunately, there are parents on both ends of this spectrum who don’t deserve the children with whom they’ve been entrusted.

In today’s society, one of the common refrains that results from any great tragedy is for increased legislation and regulation.  This concerns me.  We are more heavily regulated and more expensively legislated than we have ever been as a country…and yet the value of human life and the standard of common decency seem to be at an all-time low.  We call our society progressive…but to what are we progressing?  Families are disengaged.  Prisons are full.  Elementary-aged children are suffering from anxiety attacks.  Junior high children are eating laundry detergent.  Lifetime prescriptions of medication are commonplace. Credit cards are maxed out.  We have regulation.  We have legislation.

We have a broken society.

The horrible truth is that abuse and neglect can often be hidden in plain sight. No matter how the government tries to regulate abuse, people will still abuse. The sex trade is a perfect example of this. There are truckloads of children being shipped across America–right alongside our own minivans–and I can guarantee that there are people on both sides of the law taking advantage of them.

The government offers foster homes for at-risk children, and there are documented occasions of those poor kids going from the frying pan into the fire–and few things are more highly-regulated than foster homes. When people are sick in their spirits, they hurt other people. When evil people can profit from someone else’s pain, they will. No regulation can stop that.

The most effective ways to combat this hell is for each of us to choose to do what is right and to watch out for the well-being of people around us. Invest in people’s hearts. We’ve all heard stories of abused children whose lives were changed because someone went out of their way to love them. We, as a community, MUST be diligent in this. We cannot be so distracted by our own busyness/personal comfort that we overlook our greatest potential for impacting others.

It’s not about home education or public school.  It’s not about regulation and legislation.  It’s not even always about knowing the difference between right and wrong.  It’s about doing what is right–choosing to put others before ourselves, opting to leave a legacy of love and peace and life to the people around us.

One of my most often-repeated prayers for my children is that God gives them the courage and the self-control to do what is right instead of what is easy.  I ask the same thing for my community.  The choice is ours.

Daisy’s Doin’s, Day 44

At their current level of energy, these 6 puppies sometimes seem like an even dozen.  If only modern science could bottle this kind of cute, fluffy energy!

Lots of changes in the past week.  All of the pups are in the process of being weaned from Daisy (who seems pretty pleased about this turn of events).  Sharp puppy claws take a toll on Daisy’s teats and belly.  All of the girl pups are down to three nursings a day, and will soon drop down to two.  Woody, the only male of the litter, is heavier than his sisters by a solid three pounds!  Let’s just say that he was the first to be completely weaned…and it was not by his personal preference!  He would gladly continue to nurse if given the option.

Another big change is that the puppies have been relocated.  The little rascals discovered that they could escape from the whelping box, so instead of being kept in our guest bedroom on the main floor of our home, they are now in specially-designed cages in our basement.  The kids have set up a cage to sleep in, a cage to eat/play in and large cage big enough for us to get in and play with them.  It’s like a huge puppy playground!

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Climbing out of the Whelping Box

My daughter took each puppy, in turn, outside yesterday.  They weren’t quite sure what to think of the wet grass and the wind.  Some of them, like Woody, loved it!  Others, like Macy (who was originally named Lady) preferred to stay curled up in Gracie’s arms.  Most of the puppies have been re-named by their new families.

The puppies’ absolute favorite pastime is playing.  The like to play with each other, play with us, play with our guests, play with Daisy–but they love to play with our seven-month-old standard goldendoodle, Liberty Belle.  For as big and clumsy as she is, “Auntie Libby” is remarkably gentle with the pups, allowing them to climb all over her, tug on her beard, bite her ears and pull on her tail.  This gentle, patient, good-natured disposition is what we most appreciate about this breed.

 

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Auntie Libby plays with the babies.

Our days are kept very busy with people visiting puppies, cleaning cages, making sure everyone gets fed and playing, playing, playing with the little ones, in addition to our normal day-to-day responsibilities of school, homemaking, outside jobs and extracurricular activities. There is a great deal to organize and oversee at this point, and I find that my brain is ready for bed by about 6:00 these days. I confess that there are several odds and ends which are being overlooked–none of which are these puppies!

People often ask me if it will be hard to send the puppies to their new homes.  To be honest, not really.  We’re pretty picky about where these babies go.  People think they come to see if they want one of our puppies, but they really come for me to see if I want them to have one of our puppies.  🙂  We do our homework on our customers, and we are as sure as we can possibly be that each one of them will be a great home for these little ones.  And, while caring for these puppies, we put a lot of things on the back burner for our family.  It’s always nice to be able to stretch out a little bit again.  Will we miss them?  Absolutely!  Will we keep in touch with their families to monitor their progress and answer questions?  Of course!  We will wish we’d kept every single one of them?  No way, Hosea!

Daisy’s Doin’s, Day 37

Last night was the first night in over 5 weeks that the puppies didn’t need to eat through the night and Daisy didn’t need a bathroom break.  I felt like the mother of a newborn when I woke up at 6:00 this morning and realized that I’d had an entire night’s sleep.  Daisy seemed pretty excited, too!

The pups are still working on adjusting to puppy chow in goat’s milk two times a day.  About half of them have the process down pat; the other half would rather romp around and make a mess during these meals.  Since they don’t actually NEED the puppy chow at this point, we have plenty of time for patience.  They’re still nursing every few hours, though these meals are much shorter than they used to be.  The pups are so efficient in their suckling now that they drain Momma dry in 5 or 6 minutes and move on to playing with her and one another.  Interestingly, Daisy has a new strategy for feeding them.  We call it On-the-Go Mealtime.  This works really well because the puppies’ toenails are so sharp that they just shred her underside if given the opportunity.

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On-the-Go Meals

We are still cleaning Daisy’s tummy and teats regularly to reduce the risk of infection.  She is also still getting protein-enriched meals at least four times a day.  These will start to taper off as the puppies eat more and more kibble.

We bring the puppies out of their box two or three times a day to play.  This morning, we brought them out to the laminate flooring in our living room for the first time.  Their reactions were hilarious!  It was like watching someone ice skate for the first time.  Jasmine was, by far, the bravest of the troupe.  She had the slick surface figured out in no time.  The rest of them had to be encouraged and enticed repeatedly.

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Jasmine investigates the safety of the slick surface.

Since it’s so cold here right now, potty-training is a bit of problem for these little ones.  We like to send them to their new homes with this valuable life skill already well underway, but I’m not sure how realistic this is for now.  The good news is that they are using the puppy pads to do their business most of the time.  Smart cookies!

All six puppies have been officially adopted by good homes now.  Two will move to North Carolina, one to Texas and three will stay here in Indiana.  We are very pleased with the loving folks who have claimed them, and we know our puppies will be well-loved.

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Woody and Pixie enjoy their first playtime on the laminate flooring.

 

Daisy’s Doin’s, Day 35

The one-month anniversary of Daisy’s sweet babies has come and gone.  We’ve had them for more than half of the time they will be in our care.  They are changing so quickly now–every day brings something new for them.  These puppies are truly our biggest entertainment here on the farm.

Yesterday’s breakfast was their first experience with puppy chow.  We softened the kibble with warm goat’s milk and held it under their noses for examination.  Woody, the only boy as well as the biggest pup, dove right in, lapping up the milk without hesitation.  Most of his sisters soon followed suit, though Belle thought her time would be better spent tugging on my sleeve as I tried to hold the bowl steady.  (Good thing she’s cute!)  The moist kibble occasionally stuck to furry cheeks, foreheads and even paws, and the puppies danced and stumbled around, trying to get the tasty morsels in their mouths.  There was even some teamwork going on as Jasmine removed a soggy piece from Tinkerbell’s back and pink tongues tidied up milky muzzles.  Their suppertime disappeared more rapidly and with a bit better accuracy.

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Four out of the six pups have been spoken for.  Wendy’s new family has changed her name to Pixie; her home will be in North Carolina.  After the winter that we’ve had, she’ll probably thrive on being a warm-weather pooch.